Consider for a moment something Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Life; “God has a purpose for your life on earth, but it doesn’t end here. His plan involves far more than the few decades you will spend on this planet. It’s more than ‘the opportunity of a lifetime;’ God offers you an opportunity beyond your lifetime”
Please remember that our lives are more than the time we live on this earth. God did not create us for a short physical life, but an eternal life with Him. When we view our lives in the context of our life right now we only get part of the picture. The greatest part of our lives will be spent in eternity.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think about the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.” When our focus is the here and now, on the physical world in which we live, our perspective becomes distorted. The reason it is distorted is because all we can see is the here and now and we are unaware of what God is doing in eternity.
This is what the apostle John wrote in his first epistle:
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not love have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17; NLT)
The apostle John makes it clear that our focus should not be on the world that is around us. He says that this world is ‘fading away.” In other words this reality will not last forever. If that is true then I believe we need to consider what the point of life is. Does it matter if you have the new BMW you have always wanted, the job you would love to do, the championship trophy you have won, or to spend an evening at the prom? All these things, and many more, are fading away, but when they we focus on is right now they become the most important things.
Why is this life so important? It is important for two reasons. It gives us an opportunity to learn to live our lives by faith. If we can learn to obey God now, when we cannot see Him, then we will obey Him when we finally do see Him. The second reason is that it gives us the opportunity to learn to love people. When we can train ourselves to love sinful and imperfect people, then we will be able to love people when God transforms into the righteous and holy people He created us to be.
John tells us that one thing will survive or endure from this world. That is the person who does God’s will. When eternity is our focus our priorities change. Instead of making decisions based on our lives right now, we base our decisions on eternity.
I believe that it is only when we start living for eternity that we put ourselves in the position to allow God to transform our lives. When eternity is our perspective we will be able to understand what is truly important. Understanding what is truly important helps us to accomplish what really matters. If you want to make a difference in this world, look to the next. If you want to make a difference right now, focus on eternity.